Social opening the doors for business exposure,Social opening the doors for business exposure,

Social Media As a Marketing Tool Social media has revolutionized the way we communicate and interact with each other on a daily basis. The creation of the internet changed the way consumers and corporations managed their business practices and social relationships through strategic marketing tools. Consumers are adapting to an electronic era of digital marketing, while traditional media and marketing tools are declining.  It has facilitated easy access to communication and sharing of information through convenience of time, location, distance, and speed.  Social media has become a powerful, fast and inexpensive tool for business marketing, allowing for breakthrough opportunities by placing business at a greater financial advantage through its worldwide exposure, and engagement of consumers.  Organizations are establishing social and working relationships through blogs that persuade consumers to review, discuss, or even recommend products and services. The new social media era has become the main source of information for consumers providing unlimited sources and choices.   Technology innovated from an era of handwritten communication, and hand to hand delivery of correspondence, to telegraph sending information faster through a longer distance.  As technology improved the invention of the radio and the telephone arrived facilitating communication to targeted markets and specific locations, opening the doors for business exposure, and advertisement.  It was with the creation of computers, and the design of the internet, that caused a drastic interest in moving forward to virtual communication.  Hendricks (2013) states that the social media sensation began during the late 1990s, enabling users to upload a profile, and make friends.  In the early years of 2000 thousands of online networking sites like Linkedln,  Facebook, and Twitter were developed allowing blogging, uploading of photos, and video files reaching billions of people instantaneously without sacrificing time, location, distance, or the intimacy of communication.  The internet service is available 24 hours a day, and so are the social media sites, creating a business world that never sleeps, and continually innovates.Social media became an effective form of advertisement allowing professionals to market their business, and disseminate information instantaneously from any location and target billions of people worldwide.  It also made information easy to access, and available through the convenience of mobile devices.  Social media use of virtual messaging and marketing has drastically changed consumer behavior in regards to purchasing.  It provides information, pricing, visual images and video imaging at their fingertips.  Since the horse business, contributes $39 billion to the U.S. economy yearly, a study was conducted to bring awareness on the benefits of promoting horse businesses through social media.  Cavinder, Valdez, and White discovered through their study that 78.3% advertised through social media, 71% in websites, 58% in books and magazines, and only 13% advertise through other forms.  Facebook was the primary source utilized for advertisement with 84.4% usage (p. 138).  Horse business owners reported a 93.1% positive influence in their business with the use of social media that contributed to the growth, promotion, and exposure of their business (p.139).Facebook is a fast growing networking site that allows its users to build a community by  connecting, communicating and sharing information with other users.  It provides news, advertisement tips, best practices, and makes case studies available to help meet business goals.  Now a day Facebook can be accessed without internet connection.  Facebook reported that it has 2.07 billion users, with 16 million local business pages.  Users spend an average of 20 minutes on Facebook, share and view 10 million websites daily.  In the 3rd quarter of 2017 it reached $38.29 billion in cash, cash equivalents, and marketable securities with an 88% advertisement revenue coming only from mobile advertisement, proving its marketing success.  Bowden (2016) mentions Facebook’s downfalls as not having official business accounts, but rather using personal accounts to create business pages.  Also that Facebook control posts going viral through a financial incentive, as posts only reach 16% of a business page followers. The only way for post to go viral is by followers sharing it with their friends.  That’s why content in the post is very important, it must be personalized, have a purpose, and a specific target, as the most common ways content is shared is via a way of self expression or thinking of someone.  Facebook also offers adds pay per click or adds per action where businesses only have to pay when the applications are downloaded.   ` Another popular social media microblogging site is Twitter, with 284 million users having a real time conversation, and heavily used in political activism, and citizen journalism.  It allows users to share comments or tweets with their followers with a maximum use of 140 characters reaching millions of people without any cost.  It can be used to broadcast information and promote conversation with followers in real time, allowing people to follow one’s activities throughout the day.  Twitter uses hashtags with the # symbol that easily allows to search for comments and topics, and is effective for promoting specific events.  Twitter offers paid advertising through promoting tweets that are displayed in users feeds displayed by a search.  It’s post are available to any user unless protected.  It has also partnered with Union Metrics to help improve business marketing by providing data analytics that can be used to tailor a specific marketing strategy.  Twitter has more than 280,00 marketers that do more than 11 million TweetReach snapshots. It offers 100 tweets for free, and up to 1500 snapshot tweets for $20.  Twitter reported that in 2016 they had a $1.5 million gross profit.  The downfall of Twitter is that there is no separation that distinguishes between a personal account and a business account. So the search for profiles and business pages has to be done manually. Marketing a business in social media has a technique, and is not as easy as creating an account, and posting comments.  It actually an requires understanding of how it works to create an effective strategy that will allow to maximize benefits taking advantage of the opportunities available in media channels.  Social media marketing is very similar to in person networking, where it is necessary to build brand presence, visibility, and build a relationship with people through continuous engagement.  Post cannot just be random information, they required a plan and a strategy with content that is interesting and appealing for others to read.  The service provided must be enhanced through audience surveys and feedbacks, so a business can better target a market through focused research by capturing consumer’s motives and behaviors.  If a business marketing strategy meets people’s interest, needs, and wants it will drive in visitors.  Bowden (2016) discussed that now a day, 66%  of business entrepreneurs identified social media marketing as a key to the sales force, 92% found it important, 38% of businesses are still trying to improve and increase their social media marketing; whereas 66% has now hired a specialized team dedicated to social media marketing only.  Social media marketing is becoming very popular and statistical data proving that is very effective, but it’s also time consuming, as it requires fostering a continuous presence and engagement.  The business world is moving forward and becoming electronic, and technology savvy.  The modern world of technology is the fastest growing field captivating the hearts and minds of consumers, impacting business operations.     Not using social media marketing can create a major competitive disadvantage, as Belew (2014) emphasized, that salesmen using social media for marketing their products exceeded sales quotas by 23% more than other businesses not using social media.  Social media marketing has become a two way conversation by shifting the power back to the consumer.  To be successful in social media marketing one must be continuously aggressive and engaged, since consumers now think about brands based on the information they acquired via social media channels as they have become the main source of information.  Specially for sales, as consumers now make more educated purchases through the availability of research.  Consumers are constantly reviewing, and reading information about products and services through social media content. Online product reviews have a tremendous influence on a customer’s purchasing decision as they influence one another indirectly by reading about responses, experiences, and satisfaction of products and services.  The Fan & Fuel survey data of 2016 indicated that 92% of consumers hesitated to make a purchase if the product did not displayed reviews, and 97% took the reviews into consideration when making a purchase.  Reviews make a big impact on consumers as 88% trusted the reviews as much as a personal recommendation.  Social media reviews are critical to a business marketing, and business should make efforts to obtain them.  Reviews influence consumers’s purchasing behavior, and business rankings as well.  The statistical data shows that consumers take reviews very seriously as they have a great impact on their purchases.  Consumers are  looking for detailed data that advises on  the best quality product or service at the best price, and convenience.Social media maximized the marketing potential for businesses as social connectivity is an important component of successful marketing.   Marketing is about creating a personalized, pleasant and positive interaction so consumers can return.  It also has to have a purpose, as visuals influence, facts provide education, logic and emotions persuade, while fun brings awareness.  The challenge is with keeping up with technology, and consumer’s motives and satisfaction.  Interactive technology is becoming more popular, and more user friendly, motivating users to have the state of the art mobile devices.  Social media is developing a constant technology innovative culture.  Businesses engaged in effective social media marketing are experiencing exponential rapid growth due to easy, fast access and spread of information that influences people’s spending behavior, and increasing future expending expectations.